What are the appropriate roles and responsibilities, and who are the appropriate customers for the USGS’s MRSP?
Does the MRSP duplicate the activities of other federal programs with responsibilities related to mineral resources?
Are the program’s priorities, products, and audience appropriate to the goals and objectives of the plan?
Are the level, scope, and balance of research in the plan sufficient to provide a scientific basis for informed decision making and to build a scientific foundation for the future?
Provide recommendations as to how the plan could be modified to improve its effectiveness in meeting the long-term needs of the nation.
What are future research needs, activities, and opportunities?
What criteria should be established to evaluate the appropriateness and priority of suggested MRSP activities?
What areas of scientific expertise will be needed by the MRSP to effectively respond to future issues?
The 1996 committee determined that the plan was a logical and necessary continuation of the mineral resources objectives and programs at the USGS and praised the program for moving beyond its traditional role of activities, for advancing the understanding of mineral deposits, for providing the basic geological information for new areas with mineral potential, and for facilitating land-use planning by federal and state agencies, to research on the environmental consequences of minerals development. The 1995 program plan proposed strengthening activities for understanding the environmental consequences of minerals development and including these activities within the broader scope of mineral deposits research.
Four general recommendations framed the 1996 NRC report. The 1996 committee was aware that, to be useful, specific recommendations on changes to the plan would need to be supplemented with a broader view of the program. For example, the 1996 committee considered the long-term view of mineral resources investigations and their importance